peeve vocabulary

My last posting here was about peeveblogging and related phenomena. Then I began wondering about the history of peeve words. The OED did a draft revision of its entries on these verbs in December 2005, so I can report on much of this history here.

It seems to begin with peevish, of uncertain origin and with a range of senses, attested from ca. 1400. Peevishness followed not long after (attested from 1468 on). There’s then a long hiatus, until the early 20th century, when peeve words exploded: a verb peeve, back-formed from peevish, attested as a transitive from 1901, as an intransitive from 1912; then an adjective peeved (from 1908); and a noun peeve, as in pet peeve (from 1909).

Things were quiet until blogging came along, and with it the synthetic compounds peeveblogging and peeveblogger (the first, apparently, on Language Log in October 2005), along with the ordinary noun-noun compound peeve blog ‘blog for/of peeves’ and the (I suppose) inevitable back-formed verb peeveblog, as in this blog entry from 2008:

This will be the last time that I peeveblog about peeveblogging about peeves.

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